Will Smith's box office clout is about to get tested in a major way, and it comes at a time when it's probably at an all-time low. Following on the weak December release of Concussion, literally one weak after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Warner Bros. has decided to open Smith's upcoming film, Collateral Beauty, against Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th. Lessons are there to be learned, folks.
Granted, Sisters opened the same week as 'The Force Awakens' and did quite well, but that was a broad comedy featuring the likable duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Collateral Beauty doesn't have that luxury. Alongside Smith is the newly-cast cast Keira Knightley, along with Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Edward Norton, and Michael Pena in the story of a New York City man who suffers a tragedy and goes into a depression. To break out of that funk he goes to some unconventional lengths. The film is directed by David Frankel.
On the one hand this could be seen as vote of confidence, and maybe it is....in the same way an NFL coach always gives his QB the dreaded vote of confidence before benching him. Or maybe their confidence is legit and there's more to this film than meets the eye. We shall see. Working in their favor is that 'Rogue One' is a spinoff and may not be as much of a behemoth as 'The Force Awakens' was.